Digital Platforms of the 21st Century

For businesses, having an online presence can be crucial.

In the early days of the internet, creating a website was quite a complex and costly process. But in the early 2000s, open-source solutions like WordPress became widely adopted. Today, companies like Wix and Squarespace enable people to build websites themselves in a simple “drag-and-drop” way.

As of this year, Squarespace and Wix together command a 60% share of websites built on hosted website builders according to data from BuiltWith. (Hosted website builders are those which host the website for you, as opposed to systems like WordPress.)

Investment Implications

Players following closely behind include GoDaddy, Weekly (owned by Square), and Duda. GoDaddy has historically been the first destination for a customer’s domain purchase and has leveraged this position to build out adjacent services.

Others like Shopify have zeroed in on e-commerce specifically and today empower more than 1.7 million merchants and well over $100 billion in gross merchandise volume.

Wix and Squarespace also continue to absorb new customers each year with both totaling over 9 million customers. Squarespace has kept it simple and is pushing into commerce while focussing on marketing tools for their customers. Alongside them, Wixx has been quick to build out plenty of deep functionality for their customer base.

It’s interesting to think of how the situation will unravel with each company’s slightly differentiated position, as they continue to build out platforms of the 21st century.

Twitter:  @_SeanDavid

The author or his firm may have positions in mentioned securities at the time of publication. Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of any other person or entity.

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